Dubai's Shuaa plans Indonesia expansion

Investment company signs agreement to offer services in world's 16th biggest economy

Dubai-based Shuaa Capital announced on Wednesday it has signed an agreement to enter the Indonesian investment market.

Shuaa said it has entered into a memorandum of understanding with PT Pratama Capital Indonesia (PCI).

The MoU will see the two firms collaborate on offering investment banking services to issuers and investors in the UAE and the Republic of Indonesia.

Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Al Maktoum, executive chairman of Shuaa Capital, said: "With this MoU we are taking an important first step to develop representation in the largest Southeast Asian economy and start facilitating cross-border capital flows between the UAE and Indonesia."

Indonesia is the sixteenth largest economy in the world with a GDP of over $1.1trn. Bilateral trade between the UAE and Indonesia grew by over 25 percent to $2.5bn in 2011.

PT Pratama Capital Indonesia is a limited liability company and a member of the Indonesian Stock Exchange.

Dr H Sugiharto, senior advisor of PT Pratama Capital Indonesia, said: "Pratama Capital Indonesia seeks to expand its reach to the UAE and other GCC countries in light of increasing trade activity and investor interest between our countries.

"Our goal is to build a trusted relationship with Shuaa to the benefit of our clients who wish to leverage our combined expertise and investment banking advisory capabilities."

Shuaa Capital last month posted a lower third-quarter loss aided by lower provisions and a sharp drop in investment-related losses.

Shuaa, which hired ex-ABN Amro banker Colin MacDonald as CEO in April, had a third-quarter loss of AED13.9m ($3.78m), compared with AED156.2m for the year-ago period.

One of the Arab world's largest investment banks and once a symbol of the sector's potential in the region, Shuaa is among a group of regional investment firms struggling to stay afloat after a slump in the value of its investment portfolio.

But the bank is now embarking on a new strategy, focused more on growing its lending business, as part of a turnaround plan under chairman Sheikh Maktoum, a member of Dubai's ruling family.

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